Thursday, January 22, 2009

Denying Reality Won't Make It Go Away

Sigh. Here we go again.

I, along with most other people, think that Scott Walker is dead wrong with his position on the stimulus package. Most recently, I pointed out the flaws in this train of thought on Monday, when I discussed some of the flaws in their reasoning. In that post, I also cited a post by Aaron M. Rodriguez, writing at the Hispanic Conservative.

Mr. Rodriguez responded, by again trying to help Walker in denying reality.

Walker's argument, and that of his supporters is that it is wrong to create jobs, but would rather see income taxes get cut. Again. That is purely nonsensical.

In case they haven't noticed, you cannot go a day without reading story after story with hundreds if not thousands or tens of thousands of people getting laid off, businesses closing, etc. What good does an income tax cut do for a person who has no income to tax?

I cannot understand how one can worry about how much they might or might not be getting taxed, if they can't even find a job to get an income to tax. Hence, the priority should be first about creating jobs for people to start worrying about tax rates.

Oh, they'll come out with that malarkey of trickle-down economics and how putting more money into the pockets of businessmen and businesswomen will allow them to create more jobs. But again, they will ignore that we just got rid of a presidential administration that did just that, but the jobs never came. In fact, there is more unemployment now, than there has been in generations. So much so that some states are having difficulty in coming up with the money to pay all of the unemployment compensation claims.

Mr. Rodriguez also points out how Walker said that he doesn't want strings attached. But that didn't seem to bother Walker when he wanted to apply for federal funding for his rapid transit buses:

The Milwaukee County Board has agreed with County Executive Scott Walker’s plan to hire consultants to help develop an application seeking federal funds for a $40 million rapid bus transit system.

Walker’s 2009 budget contains a $50,000 request to bring in transportation specialists to fine-tune the proposal that will be sent to the federal government’s Very Small Starts transit aid program.

Walker said the county could receive up to 80 percent of the capital costs of starting the 12-mile bus rapid transit line that is proposed to run along Fond du Lac and National avenues from Midtown Center to downtown Milwaukee. It would then go to Woods Veterans Center near Miller Park and State Fair Park.

And while I applaud Walker for finally taking this small step towards fixing the transit system that he allowed to fall into such dire shape, it really is a matter of too little too late.

Mr. Rodriguez also makes it a point to emphasize that Walker did not say he would absolutely refuse any federal stimulus money. But if he doesn't ask for it, or at least notify the feds what is needed, that is just a passive-aggressive way of refusing the money.

It was also said that only the "lefty bloggers" are advocating for Obama's stimulus plan. I guess that means many of the top CEO's of Milwaukee's largest companies are also lefty bloggers, since they also support Obama's plan and expect it to work. Who knew?

But the thing that was most alarming about Mr. Rodriguez's op-ed piece was this total disconnect from reality:
It is the responsibility of local officials to run a tight ship and guard against wasteful spending. Walker's willingness to reject federal aid when strings are attached, and yet accept it when they exclude wasteful spending proves that he is a good guardian and a wise county executive.
I'm sorry, Mr. Rodriguez, but I disagree. Walker is most definitely planning on running for governor, hence his attendance at the Republican Governors Convention and his political posturing.

Meanwhile, Walker has given us:
  • A transit system that is in dire straights and about to collapse,
  • A mental health system that was allowed to fall apart until the local paper carried a year long series about it,
  • Repeated proposals to put the mental health complex in the old St. Michaels Hospital, even though that would be more dangerous and more expensive than building a new one,
  • A correctional system with budget busting overtime expenses and very poor safety,
  • A proposal to provide less services to the poor without saving anything on taxes, but it did cost the County at least one valuable contract, maybe more.
These are hardly the signs of good guardianship or responsible leadership. And they're only the tip of the iceberg.

Saying he would refuse federal aid if there were strings attached right after asking for it, arguing for tax breaks that wouldn't help people get jobs so that they could even have an income to tax, and letting his responsibilities fall to the wayside in favor of political aspirations is not signs of responsibility. They are signs of hypocrisy.


  1. The stimulus package drafted in the house will do less than nothing for the economy.

    Wishes and hopes will not change that fact.

  2. Your premise is based on what? Charlie Sykes? Scott Walker?

  3. Actually, we have no idea how effective the stimulus package will be because it largely depends upon where the money will be invested. Creating jobs is the end goal, but rather creating jobs that will ensure a return, not create more spending.